the best everyday ballplayer that Duquette references would be third baseman Manny Machado

¡°There’s always interest in your best players,¡± said general manager Dan Duquette last week at baseball¡¯s winter meetings, ¡°but I don’t really talk about our best players in trade talks because people take that the wrong way. They don’t take it the way it’s intended to be, and that is, we like this player on our team, and we’re putting our team together with them on the team. We’re putting our team together around our closer and our best everyday ballplayer.¡±
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If you¡¯re scoring at home, the best everyday ballplayer that Duquette references would be third baseman Manny Machado, and the closer in question would be Britton. And by the sound of things, neither is going anywhere anytime soon. Holding onto Machado is inarguable because, well, he¡¯s the best player on the Orioles, one of the best in baseball, and it¡¯s impossible to imagine the O¡¯s contending without him. Britton, however, is a different story.

Sandoval and his wife had a baby in May, an event that he said has inspired him to rebuild his career.

Womens Calvin Johnson Jersey “Watching ‘Baby Panda’ grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that’s my motivation every day,” Sandoval said. “The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson.”

Sandoval understands if Red Sox fans are skeptical. But Sandoval also saw first baseman Hanley Ramirez rebound this year with a 30-homer season after a miserable 2015 and believes he can have a renaissance of his own.

“I certainly get it. I understand all the frustration [fans] must have felt, and I can’t hold any grudges,” Sandoval said. “I have no ill will about anything. Actually the opposite. It was another lesson for me. It fueled me. It gave me the courage to work harder every day so one day I can be a part of another Boston Red Sox championship.”

Johnson implored him to shave his head and just be done with it

When he and his Wisconsin buddies get together, it’s like college all over again. Their old long-snapper, Steve Johnson, was busting on him recently about some thinning hair he noticed when he saw a picture of Thomas. Johnson implored him to shave his head and just be done with it.

A few days later, Thomas took to Twitter. “BREAKING NEWS,” he tweeted. “Joe Thomas questionable with a receding hairline.”

He is self-deprecating, and his teammates like that. It puts them at ease. Thomas was asked recently how he’s dealing with the losing skid. “Lots of eggnog,” he said.

If Thomas is lucky, he might have three or four years of football left in him. That should be enough, he hopes. But he tells the Browns to hurry up. He’s running out of time.

“There are times that I’m admiring the loyalty,” former Browns executive Joe Banner says, “and there are other times I’m sitting here going, ‘Boy, when this guy retires, he’s going to look back and really wish he had a chance to experience what it felt like to be on a good team and win in the NFL.'”
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While the Raiders are in a fight for home-field advantage, the Vikings are trying to keep their playoff hopes alive after trading their first-round pick for Sam Bradford following Bridgewater’s injury. The 2-10 Jaguars, meanwhile, have fielded questions about whether Bortles should be benched in his third season. For the QB Class of 2014, it seems, common ground will continue to be hard to come by.

Elite Mens San Diego Padres Jersey “It all worked out in the end.”

Washington still finished 17th in the league in total offense and 28th in the league in total defense

I will repeat my prediction that pressure forces Hoyer into throwing a pick to the Chiefs’ fantastic rookie corner, Marcus Peters, before the game is over. My key to victory for the Chiefs is to sack Hoyer at least four times. If they do, I believe they will win this game and it won’t be very close at all.

Andrew Luck Authentic Jersey Spoiler, I’m pretty sure they will.
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How they got here: 1) By riding the right arm of Andy Dalton, which had never been so effective and accurate until his thumb. 2) By force-feeding the ball to A.J. Green. 3) By building one of the league’s best offensive lines. 4) By putting together a defense that finished the season No. 2 in points allowed.

Why they’ll make the Super Bowl: They went 10-3 this season with Dalton under center and after getting his cast off this week, there’s a chance he makes it back to the lineup soon. Even with Dalton missing three games, the Bengals still managed to finish with the No. 1 offense in the league, according to Football Outsiders. Combine that attack with a stout and opportunistic defense and you have a well-rounded team without many holes.

Prediction: Same old story for the Bengals. With AJ McCarron under center, they get blown out by an explosive Steelers team in the first round.

Washington still finished 17th in the league in total offense and 28th in the league in total defense. But Cousins has thrown three or more touchdowns on five occasions this season, and he’s a wild card in the playoffs. The biggest argument against Washington, of course, is the fact that they were soundly beaten by the two playoff teams they played this year in the New England Patriots and Panthers.

Jones went on an expletive-laced rant against the referees on Instagram after the game.

49ers hire Chip Kelly as their new head coach

Former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has been hired by the San Francisco 49ers, the team announced on Thursday afternoon. The NFL Network is reporting that Authentic Womens Marco Estrada Jersey the deal is for five years.

Kelly takes over a 49ers team that is coming off a miserable 5-11 campaign, its worst record since 2007. Thanks to a slew of unexpected retirements and free agent departures last winter, the roster is badly depleted on both sides of the ball. That led to a thoroughly disappointing season in which San Francisco suffered a league-high nine losses by double-digits.

The fallout from that disaster of 2015 was the firing of head coach Jim Tomsula after a brief one-year stint as the top guy in San Francisco. The 49ers are banking on Kelly to quickly revive a franchise that has taken a steep fall since playing in three straight NFC title games (and a Super Bowl) from 2011-13.

One factor that may have swayed Kelly to Elite Darwin Barney Jersey joining the 49ers is that the team hired Tom Gamble last year as a senior personnel executive. Gamble worked side-by-side with Kelly in Philadelphia.

Kelly was abruptly fired by the Eagles after leading them to a 6-9 record this season, their first sub-.500 campaign since 2012. Philly was 4-4 at the mid-point and looked primed to compete for a playoff spot in a weak NFC East, but then collapsed with five losses in their next seven games.

Kelly’s first two seasons in Philly were much more successful. He engineered back-to-back 10-win campaigns, including a playoff berth in 2013. However, it all came crashing down this year as many of his headline-grabbing offseason moves backfired. In total, he has a 26-21 record as head coach in the NFL.

The rumors of Kelly’s firing started November with reports that players were unhappy with the coach, as well as DeMarco Murray going as far as sitting next to Jeff Lurie on a flight home to discuss his concerns. Safety Malcolm Jenkins questioned if the team had enough accountability, and Philly fans were quick to fill The Linc with boos.

He wasn’t able to convince the team in Philadelphia that he could be a winning coach, nor a likable one, but he did have hints of success throughout his first NFL job.

Trail Blazers wing Maurice Harkless has scored in double-digits in eight consecutive contests

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Maurice Harkless, Portland Trail Blazers (50.4): A fixture of the Blazers’ small-ball driven approach, this stretch forward has scored in double digits in eight straight and is averaging 15.6 points, 1.6 3-pointers and nearly six boards in just over 31 minutes per outing. In a league with an increasing reliance on 3-and-D assets, Harkless is an intriguing depth addition for fantasy investors.

T.J. Warren, Phoenix Suns (42.7): The crowd must move on from injuries sometimes, but it’s always wise to revisit an enduring injury scenario like Warren’s to scoop him up as he’s on the mend. Reports suggest we should see Warren return to action soon, while he ranks 12th in points per touch (minimum 20 minutes per game) and should resume a busy offensive workload upon his return.

Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns (46.3): Morris is one of those fantasy contributors whose sum of production is stronger than any individual category, as he’s productive enough in points, boards, steals and 3-pointers to provide a meaningful collective of production for us to consider.

Authentic Brandon Williams Jersey Jon Leuer, Detroit Pistons (27.7): A strong complementary cog off the bench for Detroit, over the past nine games Leuer has averaged 26.6 minutes, 10.9 points and nearly seven boards at this thin fantasy position.

J.R. Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers (37.0): Not only to get to enjoy his postgame pressers a bit more, you also net elite production from beyond the arc (2.4 made per game) and in the steals (1.3) department with Smith.

Will Barton, Denver Nuggets (29.6): Rich drive rates and steady usage fuels rewarding fantasy results for Barton, who is only this widely available based on a stretch on injury issues. With at least 37 points over his past two appearances, scoring has never been an issue for Barton.

Wayne Ellington, Miami Heat (8.3): With Dion Waiters’ busy offensive role sidelined, Ellington has averaged 32.7 minutes and 6.8 3-point attempts per game over the past four. Minutes and shots — that’s all we can ask for when chasing cheap shares in free agency.

In some games Carmelo Anthony carries the Knicks, and in others it’s Kristaps Porzingis who does

There is no reason for them to make a decision in the near future; they have the opportunity to wait and see how Rose progresses this season. It’s also worth noting that Rose can potentially make more money as a free agent. He can sign a max contract with a starting salary of more than $29 million this summer — for a total of five years and approximately $175 million. Though it’s unclear at this point if other teams see Rose as a max player.
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Thus far, Rose has played well, getting to the basket at will. But his shooting outside of the paint has been inconsistent. Rose is shooting 56 percent within the restricted area but 35 percent from midrange (22-for-62), according to He’s also hit 26 percent (7-for-27) of his 3-point attempts.

Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek, who as a player was one of the top shooters in the NBA, had an interesting observation about Rose¡¯s shooting.

¡°It¡¯s a strange thing because I almost think sometimes when he¡¯s tired, he¡¯ll shoot it better because he¡¯ll shoot it on the way up [as he’s ascending into the shot]. In practice, he shoots it on the way up and gets the arc,¡± Hornacek said. ¡°He knows he wants to get it up higher. But sometimes I think that adrenaline gets going in the games, he¡¯s got all that energy, and he jumps high and that¡¯s when his shot tends to be flat.

¡°It¡¯s kind of a bizarre thing,” Hornacek added. “When you have the energy, you think it would be better. But he¡¯s working on it. You see him out here in the gym and he [works on his shot]. So that¡¯s a habit that he¡¯s had probably in the past that he¡¯s trying to get through.¡±

Teammates believe Noah will produce: Joakim Noah has struggled in his first 17 games as a Knick. He’s said time and again that he needs to play better. Noah’s teammate and friend Courtney Lee remains confident the veteran center will help the Knicks in the long run. So does Thunder coach Billy Donovan, who coached Noah in college at the University of Florida.

Porzingis is also among those who believe better days are ahead for Noah, who signed a $72 million contract to come to New York over the summer. Porzingis also credits Noah for helping him with proper technique in defending the pick-and-roll.

Authentic Womens Justin March-Lillard Jersey ¡°He has helped me tremendously, especially defensively. He’s always talking to me. He has a lot of experience and it¡¯s hard for me to see him struggle,” Porzingis said. “I know he wants to play better, he¡¯s 100 percent committed.

The Minnesota Vikings claimed former Green Bay Packers tight end Brandon Bostick off waivers on Wednesday

The Minnesota Vikings claimed former Green Bay Packers tight end Brandon Bostick off waivers on Wednesday. The Vikings’ official website reports the third-year pro will become the fifth tight end on their roster, joining Kyle Rudolph, Rhett Ellison, Chase Ford and Ryan Otten.

Bostick was at the center of the Packers’ infamous failed onside kick recovery that gave the Seahawks an opportunity to complete a come-from-behind victory in the NFC Championship. Bostick couldn’t hang on to the kickoff after Frank Clark Authentic Womens Jersey attempting to field it, and the Seahawks subsequently recovered and went on to win, 28-22.

The pressure now mounts on both the cities of San Diego and Oakland to find a solution attractive enough to entice the teams to stay put. Wide speculation across the NFL is that a small-market team that moves to L.A. could see its value rise up to 150 percent.

Manning is already the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdown passes and has a chance to further etch his name in the record books if he returns for his 18th season. He needs 2,148 yards to surpass Brett Favre’s record for most career passing yards (71,838), and is also seven regular-season wins shy of matching Favre’s mark (186) in that category.

If Manning decides to hang up his cleats, the Broncos could turn to backup Brock Osweiler as the team’s signal caller for 2015. A second-round pick out of Arizona State in 2012, Osweiler has appeared in 13 games for Denver, completing 17-of-30 passes for 159 yards with one touchdown. The team could also realize a significant amount of cap savings with Manning’s salary off the books. He carries a cap charge of $21.5 million in each of the next two seasons, and the team could gain $16.5 million in cap space for 2015 if he retires or is released.

Perhaps a change of scenery could benefit Bostick, who will compete for a spot on the roster. He Garry Gilliam Authentic Womens Jersey struggled to find the field while in Green Bay, playing just 34 snaps in 2014. At 26 years old, his best football could still be ahead of him.

Bulls finish off ‘circus trip’ in style with easy win over Sixers

The Chicago Bulls surprised plenty of people with their 4-2 “circus trip,” a two-week journey capped off by a 105-89 cakewalk over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night, but they didn’t shock themselves.

Out of all the positives that have come Jay Ajayi Authentic Womens Jersey from the Bulls’ impressive 10-6 start, the one that stands out most is this group’s belief in itself. Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade always believed this group was going to be better than most NBA pundits and fans believed it was going to be. A month into the season, that optimism has been rewarded in the form of victories and a continuity the Bulls haven’t had in several years.

The 32-year-old willed New York to a 113-111 overtime victory against the Charlotte Hornets on Friday with 35 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.

His final two points sealed the Knicks’ win.

Anthony said afterward that he would have passed up the chance to take the game winner if he had an open teammate, and he provided evidence earlier in the game to support that stance. The 13-year veteran had two key assists to Willy Hernangomez in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter and another assist to Porzingis that led to a 3-pointer in the Knicks’ second-to-last possession of overtime.

But Anthony also wanted another chance to seal the game after missing a shot at the Jelani Jenkins Authentic Womens Jersey end of regulation.

“I wanted that shot. I wanted that moment, to be honest with you,” he said. “I felt like I had an opportunity to close it in regulation and in overtime I did want that situation.”

He got it, and the Madison Square Garden crowd reacted with an ovation that has been reserved, lately, for Porzingis highlights.

Vandy outfielder No. 1 among 2017 MLB draft prospects

The 2017 draft class is different than those we’ve seen the past few years. It lacks the depth of some recent classes, but features an above-average group of first-rounders, with an especially strong crop of college pitchers and some high-upside high school outfielders.

Southern California is as good as it Shaq Thompson Authentic Jersey has been in years, and it’s a banner year in Kentucky, of all places. We’ve even got a few smaller colleges represented in addition to the usual passel of SEC prospects. It’s a good year to pick at the very top, and the back half of the first round is better than normal, but the difference between picking third and seventh — which was determined on the season’s final day — is significant.

That said, while the game is constantly evolving, that evolution turns slowly. I don’t think you’ll see significant changes in bullpen strategy, either in the postseason or the regular season. It’s important to realize that Francona was in a unique situation. Injuries to Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar had depleted his rotation, and then Bauer cut his finger in the middle of the postseason, so in going with a three-man rotation (except for one Ryan Merritt start in the ALCS), Francona had to have quick hooks and rely more on Miller and closer Cody Allen.

Plus, Miller is really good. It’s a little easier to trust a guy to throw two-plus innings when he has fanned 326 batters in 198 1/3 innings the past three seasons. There are few pitchers of Miller’s ability out there — for one inning, let alone two. The way the postseason played out for the Indians also worked out perfectly for Francona. Miller had to pitch back-to-back days just twice and had at least three days of rest in five of his 10 appearances.

It’s worth noting that Jansen and Chapman Star Lotulelei Authentic Jersey are also elite relievers — we’re talking about three of the four most dominant relievers in the game (Baltimore’s Zach Britton being the fourth).

Aroldis Chapman struggled in Game 7 of the World Series throwing 35 pitches one night after going an 1 1/3 innings.

Even then, however, Miller and Chapman — perhaps as a result of all their previous work in the postseason — faltered in Game 7 of the World Series. Miller gave up four hits and two runs, including a home run to David Ross, in his 2 1/3 innings. Chapman gave up the game-tying, two-run home run to Rajai Davis in the eighth inning. That was his third blown save of the postseason, as he allowed five of his 11 inherited runners to score.

the NFL has delivered a trio of games with major playoff ramifications

NFL football is a Thanksgiving tradition. Important games on Thanksgiving are not. Thanksgiving football has seen a lot of one-sided contests over the past few years. It doesn’t help that the Detroit Lions are usually out of contention by this point. Years of 8-8 Dallas teams gave us some Turkey Day turkeys as well.

Well, not this year. Just in time to help you avoid talking politics with the family members you disagree with, the NFL has delivered a trio of games with major playoff ramifications. Grab that second helping of pumpkin pie and get back on the couch as soon as possible.

The opener, Minnesota at Detroit, is the most important game of the week for determining Tom Savage Authentic Womens Jersey which 12 teams make the NFL playoff field. In fact, it’s the most important game of the year so far. If the Lions win, they become the NFC North favorites, making the playoffs 62.4 percent of the time, while the Vikings make it only 43.4 percent of the time. But if the Vikings get a win on the road, their playoff odds climb to 86.1 percent while Detroit’s odds fall to 18.9 percent.

“He always carried the ball the right way, so it was not a major concern for us,” Garrett said of Elliott’s fumble issues in Week 2, before adding that the Cowboys have emphasized on “recommitting to that focus and making sure it’s the No. 1 priority.”

Elliott is the NFL’s leader in carries (233), rushing yards (1,102), yards per game (110.2), and is tied for third in rushing touchdowns (9).

“He has gotten better and better every week,” Garrett added.

Elliott has fallen off the pace of Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson’s rookie rushing record Tyler Ervin Authentic Womens Jersey of 1,808 yards, but he continues to carry Dallas’ second-ranked rushing offense.

Elliott is on pace to rush for 1,763 yards and 14 touchdowns on a heavy workload of 373 carries.

Dickerson also holds the NFL record for most rushing touchdowns (18) and attempts (390) in a rookie season.

The Dallas Cowboys have a pair of rookies making a strong case in the NFL’s MVP race.

And though quarterback Dak Prescott has become the more frequently discussed player of the two, running back Ezekiel Elliott is on pace for a historic campaign.